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You're Out of the Service, Now What?
When Joseph Walsh, twenty-seven, rolled in Kingston on a newly purchased, all black Harley motorcycle after months of being away from home, no one could say they were shocked. Joey was always somewhat of a dare devil, so it also took no one by surprise when after graduating from college Joey decided to go into the service.
“Joey was always testing and proving himself, whether it was jumping off our roof in attempts to be like the wrestlers he watched on TV, or swimming across the bay down the street just to see if his body was up for it,” said his mother, Janet Walsh. “If someone dared it he would do it.”
It also didn’t come as a big surprise to Janet when Joey sat her down in their small town, country styled kitchen and told her he was not only joining the army but becoming an Army Ranger, a special operations force that goes through rigorous training in order to execute life threatening missions.
“He was always a leader, in high school he was captain of the hockey team at his school, and being the oldest of 4 brothers they were always looking towards him for direction,” says Janet. “He was meant for a role of leadership in life.”
For a year of his life Walsh served overseas in the mountains of Afghanistan. Here he learned a skill set that could help him in any job setting.
“I was leading a group of boys in an environment we were unfamiliar with, with too little of everything.”
Graduating from UMass Dartmouth with a degree in criminal law three years ago, Walsh knew he wanted work that involved law. So after leaving the service at the end of October, Walsh set his eyes on Washington. “Homeland Security would be my ultimate goal, and with my background being an Army Ranger will help get my foot in the door.” “Why Homeland Security?” he asked himself, “Simply stated, I just want to keep America the safest country it can be, for not only myself and my family but for all the families and future families of America.”
Like Walsh, after serving their country for months, and even years at a time, most of America’s men and women in the military come out of the service with new knowledge and skills. Yet, just what do America’s soldiers do when they put down their weapons and hang up their fatigues? Government jobs are the answer for many.
Twenty-three year old Christian Carter, also a Kingston native and friend of Walsh also followed the path that lead to military life. Instead of leadership, parasitism drove Christian to join the Army National Guard. “Patriotism and all the free ammo you could ask for,” joked Carter.
Carter, who recently graduated from Bridgewater State College with a degree in exercise science, is for the first time going overseas to Kabul, Afghanistan in January.
“I am excited to travel to different places and interact with the people that live there, in this case native Afghans.”
Carter plans to remain in the service from anywhere between six and fourteen years, to the protest of his girlfriend who would much rather see him follow in his father’s footsteps of becoming a cranberry grower. However, Christian wants to break free from the family business.
“Like Joey I see myself working with the FBI, Homeland Security, something along those lines. The training I have gotten out of the Army National Guard along with the free online classes they offer will be a huge help when that time comes.”
Not everyone, however, sees themselves working for the government. Sam Bulger, twenty-two, of Littleton Ma, knew he too wanted a life in the military. Instead of the Army, Bulger decided on the Marines. For him the Marines offered something more, “I wanted to say I am a Marine, not just a soldier,” said Bulger. “As a Marine, we rule the air, land and sea.”
Bulger, is a first line of defense Military Occupational Specialist working with ground work and equipment. Working in this field has provided much for Bulger.
“I am in the best shape of my life and had to go through a year of schooling to learn the mechanics to get the job.” Not only did his knowledge grow but also his temperament.
“My whole character modified,” says Bulger. “I have more discipline and manners. Now I am not only a warrior but a gentleman.” Bulger will be going overseas probably within the next year but he warns that it “could be any day, The President can ask the Marines to deploy at anytime without permission of the Senate.”
Unless he reenlists Bulger will spend a total of five years in the service, leaving February 24, 2013. After the Marines Bulger plans on using his equipment repair skills for future employment, “I will probably be a mechanic, eventually go back to school, could end up working at an airport.”
Although these men may have different experiences and training, no matter what these men peruse in life they all agreed and can be quoted on one thing they will bring from the military to any job, “be on time.”